The next section that will be posted from Facebook: A Place for Friends and Businesses, my internship paper from this past semester, is Marketing & Advertising with Facebook. A few questions follow. Enjoy.
Don’t want to read it in parts? The whole paper can now be viewed and read on this page: Facebook: A Place for Friends and Businesses.
Marketing & Advertising with Facebook
With millions of users to interact with, Facebook is an ideal resource for marketers to use to find out more about their customers. Discussions can easily be started on Facebook to generate user feedback and people can easily search for and join these discussions, whether they are sitting on their computers at home or are using their cell phones on-the-go. It is easy to pass the word on to friends, too: A click of a button can send a “Page Recommendation” or personal message to one or several friends at once, and people can see what their friends “like” just by looking at their interests on their profile page. Contests and social media seem to go hand and hand, since contests are fun promotions to help to engage fans and followers, making them feel like they are cared about and are directly interacting with the company. Social media also makes it fast and easy to offer discounts and special deals. Consumers click a button to “like” a page and they are able to get news and offers from that company.
Facebook has also become a great advertising outlet for businesses because of the high visibility and customization of ads, which have the potential to be seen by millions of people per day. Advertisements are displayed based on a person’s interests and demographics and they are usually very well targeted and accurate, provided that the person has provided enough information on their page. Illustration 1 is a screen shot of what kind of advertisements I saw when I logged into my Facebook account recently. A few of the ads were for crocheting resources and holiday sales, which make sense and are a good fit since I have crocheting and shopping listed as two of my interests and talk about these things on Facebook every so often. Advertising on social media websites like Facebook can do wonders for generating sales and driving traffic to a business’ website. To encourage small businesses and individuals to use Facebook Ads for selling their products and services, Facebook allows for a price limit per click and a daily maximum spending amount; those operating on a smaller advertising budget can also benefit by using Facebook ads, without feeling obligated to spend hundreds per day.
Illustration 1: A click-through from my profile to see more ads brings me to this page, where ads are rotated and are displayed based on my indicated interests, or things I might have mentioned on my profile at any point in time (i.e. crocheting, shopping, Ugg Boots). Click for larger image.
Even though it is free for both individuals and businesses to register for and use Facebook, it still takes planning, time, and money for a business to incorporate Facebook into its marketing and advertising strategies. Bill Corbett Jr., a public relations and social media marketing consultant with Corbett Public Relations, Inc. in Floral Park, N.Y., suggests that a business needs “a clear understanding of what they want their image to be online and in the real world” along with a budget of time and resources when using social media. Time and effort, along with a balance in the amount of information posted, are essential factors to keeping social media campaigns fresh and interesting. A business has to make sure to update enough so that its information is not stale, but be careful to not update too much so that people are overwhelmed and annoyed at the frequency of posts. Any promotional updates should be mixed with information that “clients, friends, and connections might find useful”, and a ratio of one promotional post for every six posts is a good balance to keep in mind (Buttell).
Today’s questions… What do you think of the advertisements posted on Facebook? Do you ever click on any of them? Would your impression of Facebook change if there were more/less advertisements?